Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Evaluation of the Direct Certification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals Demonstration - Year 1

The demonstration of Direct Certification with Medicaid for Free and Reduced-Price Meals (DCM-F/RP) allows authorized States and school districts to use information from Medicaid data files to identify students eligible to receive free or reduced-price (F/RP) National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) meals. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) contracted with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct a study of the first two years of this demonstration to describe the implementation process and explore the effects on certification, participation, Federal reimbursements, and State administrative costs. This report presents the findings from the first year of the demonstration evaluation, school year (SY) 2016–2017.

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An Assessment of the Roles and Effectiveness of Community-Based Organizations in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

This study examined program outcomes such as procedural denials and application timeliness when applicant interviews were conducted by community-based organizations (CBOs) staff to outcomes when SNAP staff conducted applicant interviews in 4 states - Florida, Michigan, Nevada, and Texas.

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Evaluation of the Summer Food Service Program Enhancement Demonstrations: 2011 Demonstration Evaluation Report

The 2010 Agricultural, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act enabled the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to initiate and carry out the Summer Food for Children demonstration projects, aimed at preventing food insecurity and hunger among children during summer months. The projects include the Enhanced Summer Food Service Program or “eSFSP” demonstrations, which test the impact of a number of enhancements to the existing Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The eSFSP demonstrations include four separate initiatives, two of which began in summer 2010 with the other two launching in summer 2011. This report presents exploratory findings from the evaluation of four types of demonstrations in eight States: The Extending Length of Operation Incentive demonstration (2010-2011) in Arkansas; The Activity Incentive demonstration (2010-2011) in Mississippi; The Meal Delivery demonstration (2011-2012) in Delaware, Massachusetts, and New York; and The Backpack demonstration (2011-2012) in Arizona, Kansas, and Ohio.

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Evaluation of the Impact of Enhancement Demonstrations on Participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP): FY 2011

This report examines administrative data obtained from the eight States that operated the 2011 eSFSP demonstrations to assess changes within demonstration sites compared to non-demonstration sites. Outcomes include the total number of meals served, the days of operation, and the total number of children served (as measured by average daily attendance or ADA). The influence of the 2011 demonstrations on food consumption and food security, as well as analyses of the implementation and costs of the demonstrations, are examined in a separate report.

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Evaluation of the 14 State Summer Food Service Program Pilot Project

In December 2000, the Secretary of Agriculture was authorized, through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), to conduct a Pilot to increase SFSP participation in a number of States with low rates of feeding low-income children in the summer. States were eligible to participate in the Pilot if the proportion of low-income children they served in July 1999 through SFSP and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) relative to March 1999 NSLP participation was below 50 percent of the national average. Fourteen States, including Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Wyoming, met the criteria and are participating in the Pilot. For the purpose of this Pilot, Puerto Rico is defined as a State. This 3-year Pilot began in fiscal year 2001 and has been extended until June 30, 2004. Under the Pilot, meals served by eligible sponsors in the 14 States are reimbursed at the maximum allowable rate. In addition, administrative record keeping for the Pilot sponsors was reduced since they were no longer required to record administrative and operating costs separately and they did not have to report costs to State Agencies.

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Evaluation of the Impact of Incentives Demonstrations on Participation in the Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP): FY 2010 Arkansas and Mississippi

Pursuant to the 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Act, FNS initiated and carried out the Summer Food for Children demonstration project, aimed at preventing food insecurity and hunger among children during summer months. The project includes the “eSFSP” demonstrations, which are testing the impact of a number of enhancements to the existing Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and the “Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children” (SEBTC) demonstrations, which will test a household-based benefit provided to families with children during the summer months. The eSFSP demonstrations include four separate initiatives, two of which began in summer 2010 with two more planned for launch in summer 2011. This report presents findings from the 2010 eSFSP demonstrations in Arkansas and Mississippi.

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Evaluation of the 2004/2005 Food Stamp Outreach Projects

The Food Stamp Program (FSP) is the Nation’s largest nutrition assistance program. About 1 of every 11 Americans participated in 2006. The program and its benefits are available to almost all eligible households whose income and assets fall below national eligibility thresholds. The participation rate among people eligible for benefits has increased in recent years (to 65 percent in 2005). However, many low-income people do not receive the nutrition assistance benefits to which they are entitled. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is committed to making sure that all those eligible for food stamp benefits are able to access the program. To help meet that goal, over the last several fiscal years, FNS has awarded a series of grants to local organizations that, in turn, conduct outreach activities to educate potentially eligible individuals about the FSP and to
facilitate their access. FNS awarded nearly $2 million to 16 food stamp outreach projects in fiscal years 2004 and 2005. These projects are the focus of this report. The report describes the project goals and strategies, provides a general description of each grantee, and gives a synopsis of project performance. Performance is based on grantees’ self-evaluation.

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Direct Verification Pilot Study: First Year Report

On an average school day, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides subsidized meals to approximately 30 million school children, including 18 million low-income children. To ensure program integrity, school districts must select a sample of household applications for free or reduced-price meals, contact the households, and verify eligibility. This process (known as household verification) can be burdensome for both school officials and households. Some households do not respond to verification requests. When this happens, children may lose the free or reduced-price benefits even though they may be eligible for those benefits. Direct verification uses information collected by means-tested programs to verify eligibility for free and reduced-price meals without contacting applicants. Potential benefits of direct verification include: enhanced program integrity, less burden for households when no contact is needed, less work for school district officials, and fewer students with school meal benefits terminated because of non-response to verification requests. The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-265) permits direct verification of school meal applications and requires the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of direct verification (instead of household verification) by school district.

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An Assessment of the Sustainability of Food Stamp Outreach Projects

Over recent years the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has awarded multiple grants to community and faith-based organizations (CFBO) and public entities to reach out to people who are eligible but not participating in the Food Stamp Program (FSP). Grant amounts ranged from $100,000 to $350,000 and extended from one to two years. While grant proposals routinely address the question of whether and how projects will be sustained beyond the grant period, no follow-up information about the extent to which these projects have been sustained has been available to date. This report documents the extent to which CFBOs and the public entities that received food stamp outreach grants in 2001 and 2002 sustained their outreach projects up to three years beyond the funding period, challenges faced in sustaining their projects, and the factors contributing to their sustainability.

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Evaluation of the School Breakfast Program Pilot Project

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service conducted the three-year pilot from school year (SY) 2000–2001 through SY 2002–2003. The aim of this pilot was to study the impact of the availability of universal-free school breakfast on breakfast participation and measures related to elementary school students’ nutritional status and academic performance. This pilot was not intended to evaluate the current SBP or the value of consuming breakfast.